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Flashed the Wrong BIOS
by chris

"I was updating my BIOS and flashed it with the wrong one. Well, now I get a black screen. What can I do?"
- jonathan - Ohio

This is a nasty situation - You cannot flash the BIOS with the correct one, even if you made a backup of the original flash image, because you need to boot the system to flash the BIOS. You cannot boot the system because the BIOS image is either for the wrong system, is incomplete, or got scrambled during the flash process.

Many of the current systems require a jumper change or a Setup menu change before you can flash the BIOS to prevent accidental corruption or malicious attacks to a flash BIOS by a virus or Trojan program. Some flash utilities will not proceed unless the disk image matches the size (capacity) of the BIOS memory image, or perform a system chipset test before starting. As a rule, we do not recommend updating BIOS images unless there is a reason to do so, such as a known issue corrected by the update. Either these processes are not present in your system or were handled correctly for you to flash the BIOS, even if the flash update failed for whatever reason.

Some systems have what is called a "Dual BIOS" which has two separate BIOS chips, one that can be flash updated, and one that is protected and holds a default factory image. Intel and some other systems have a Flash BIOS recovery mode, where there is a special backup ROM that does not support much of anything except accessing the floppy drive to reload special flash image files back into the system BIOS. For either of these two types of systems, you need to check your system board documentation to identify what system board jumper activates these recovery features.

If your system is older and uses a flash EEPROM (Electronically Erasable Programmable Read Only Memory), but does not have any recovery feature, you are pretty much out of luck unless you can track down the manufacturer to obtain a replacement BIOS chip or can send it back to be factory flashed. While "generic" BIOS chips may be available over the internet, these generally will not work unless your system board is based on a well known chipset, and usually only when they were partnered with the BIOS manufacturer in some way. If the manufacturer is out of business or no longer provides any support for the system board, your only hope would be to find a duplicate system board somewhere.

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